Over 300 faculty members and students from Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TUTCM) packed a lecture hall this Spring to hear a professor from Lombard, Illinois discuss our country’s health system and how acupuncture and oriental medicine is practiced and perceived in the U.S. The speaker, Dr. Yihyun Kwon, is a clinician and faculty member at National University of Health Sciences where he helped pioneer the university’s masters degree programs in acupuncture and oriental medicine. He currently teaches in the university’s integrative medical clinic.
The presentation was scheduled to last 3 hours, but ended up lasting five hours as students eagerly inquired about a wide range of issues affecting health care in the United States. “They were especially interested in the status of acupuncture and oriental medicine in the United States health care system and how they compared to other medical specialties. They wanted to know what the disparities in income were between different practitioners, how acupuncture and oriental medicine are integrated with conventional health care here, and more about the educational approaches to acupuncture and oriental medicine in United States schools. They also seek to collaborate in research projects here,” says Dr. Kwon.
Dr Kwon’s information was so well received that he has been invited to return to Tainjin in October of 2012 to give a similar presentation at the International Forum on the Development of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Dr. Kwon travelled to Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in April to continue his studies on stroke rehabilitation through acupuncture and oriental medicine. He is currently studying treatment strategies that incorporate both physical rehabilitation and acupuncture to create a synergistic healing effect for stroke victims. Dr. Kwon received his PhD from TUTCM in 2010 where he specialized in stroke care, and also holds a doctorate in chiropractic medicine .
TUTCM is home to one of the world’s top hospitals for stroke rehabilitation, and is featured in a recent documentary, “9000 Needles.” The film is a riveting account of a stroke victim turning to acupuncture after his own medical benefit providers refuse to pay for further rehabilitation.
“I’ve really enjoyed my travels to China and find that the students there are quite sincere,” says Dr. Kwon. “National University of Health Sciences hopes to create cooperative study opportunities with TUTCM in the future so that our students can also benefit from their faculty’s high level of expertise in traditional Chinese medicine.”